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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

EDH Bombs Clash of the Planeswalkers Part 2 – Extendables

March 31, 2013 by  
Filed under FAQ, In-Depth FAQ, Strategy

Planeswalkers

“We are the Champions.”

Hi and welcome back to the continuation of the Clash of the Planeswalkers. For this article we will continue to look into the extended class of Planeswalkers beyond the First Five. Ever since the printing of the first five in Lorwyn, it wasn’t until the Alara block that more Planeswalkers were introduced. From then on, every block was bound to have a couple of new Planeswalkers or new versions of the older ones in them.

 

Alara Block

Shards_Bant

One of Five, Five of One

Alara was a plane separated into five individual shards. Each shard has a Planeswalker living there. Ajani was native in Naya and Tezzeret was native to Esper. The other Planeswalkers in the other shards were all from other planes and are not native of Alara.

 

Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Honor in it’s purest form.

This is the very first version of Elspeth. She was not native to Bant, the shard she was living in, but instead came from another plane which was dominated by Phyrexians. She had escaped that plane when her spark ignited and eventually came to settle in Bant of Alara, taking a liking to the peace and order of the place. Functional wise, this Elspeth is extremely powerful for she has no abilities which minus her loyalty, an upside compared to the other Planeswalkers. The first ability plays well into horde tactic, allowing you to grow an army in time. Even if you can’t do that, that Soldier token is still a blocker to protect either you or her. The second ability is more for Voltron style, adding more punch and evasion for your Voltron Commander to get through. The ultimate is a killer; granting indestructible to all your Artifacts, Creatures, Enchantments and Lands. If there are any reasons to play this Elspeth, the ultimate is one of it. Recommend to be play as long as you deck permits.

 

Tezzeret the Seeker

Tezzeret the Seeker

Success with sacrifices.

The first version of Tezzeret, an ambitious and power hungry Artificer, was a native to Esper. Due to the nature of Esper, he is an expert when it comes to Artifacts. Both the first and second ability could be used to ramp your mana in EDH. As the first one untaps Artifact mana sources, the second one search for more Artifact mana. And when you have enough mana, you could turn all those extra Artifact mana into a beatdown horde with his ultimate, changing them all into 5/5 until end of turn. It is to be noted that although the second ability is a minus ability, there are Artifacts which are zero cc, like the Artifact Lands, therefore the ability may not necessary be lowering Tezzeret’s loyalty in the process. However Tezzeret is not really recommended for play though if you do not have a lot of Artifacts in your deck to begin with. Otherwise, he is the mana ramp, the tutor, and the win con all in one, and would definitely be a must add to your deck.

 

Sarkhan Vol

Sarkhan Vol

Feel the fury of the Dragons.

Version one of Sarkhan was living in Jund of Alara stating that he was looking for the ultimate dragon to control. Due to his Red nature, he is a very Aggro Planeswalker with most of his ability bend on Creature attack. The first ability of pumping up your army and giving them Haste is very good if you want to kill fast with your Commander. The second ability of grabbing opponents’ Creature and since Sarkhan also give that Creature Haste, you could grab the Creature, attack, and then sacrifice it away, especially good for grabbing opposing Generals. The ultimate need some work though as you need to seal off the game there if not all those Dragon tokens will be wipe out by board sweep even before they could attack. This Sarkhan is good to play as Creatures are very common in EDH. If your opponents do not have any Creatures, it would be even better as you can pump up your army and bash them with it.

 

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Nicol Bolas

“Your pathetic ideas lie in shambles, Planeswalker. Where is your arrogant pride now?”

The main evil mastermind behind all the villains in Alara, Nicol Bolas who was once just another Godly Planeswalker from the past, had now become the evil threat to all Planes. As it seeks to recover its Planeswalker powers to its heydays, it had planned for the world wars at the merging of the shards of Alara so that there will be no resistance to his plans of absorbing the power of the maelstrom for itself to be the omnipotent Planeswalker it once was. Alas it was defeated in the end but not before enslaving Tezzeret and Sarkhan under his service. Bolas is one of those Planeswalker whereby the ultimate does not need to use at all. His first ability of destroy noncreature permanent and second ability of controlling Creature could both single-handedly control the board of almost any threats against you. The ultimate is just a win more power, rendering a player to the point of no recovery with 7 damage; discarding 7 cards; sacrifice of 7 permanents; few could really survive that kind of damage. There is no reason not to play Bolas if you can.

 

Zendikar Block

Zendikar

World of the Lost Gods

Zendikar is a plane used as prison for the Eldrazi. Of all the Planeswalkers introduced in this block, only one, Nissa Revane is native to it. The others came from other Planes with their own agenda.

 

Gideon Jura

Gideon Jura

Last stand for the innocents.

He was known to specialize in Hieromancy and a member of the Order of Hellud. After he realized that he had helped his Order to wrongfully punished Chandra, he felt guilty towards her and helped her escape from being depowered by the Order. In her escape she destroyed the order and parted ways with Gideon. Still feeling guilty after she had left, he tracked her down again and made his debut in Zendikar facing off Emrakul but was unable to defeat it and had to planeswalk away to seek help from other Planeswalkers. Gideon is very powerful in normal variant in that he defends you most of the time with his first ability. In EDH, that ability is very good to store up on his loyalty counters, since you can target opponents with no Creatures. The second ability is a good Creature control offing tapped Creatures. The ultimate of changing into a Creature himself makes him a good beatdown Creature as he could avoid board sweep since most are Sorceries. Personally I feel that Gideon doesn’t really shine in EDH as his abilities are very orientated against one player. There are very minor advantages to playing him in multiplayer EDH. The only benefit of his “attack me” ability is that you could use it to open up an opponent’s defenses and leave him or her opened for the next player to attack and take that opponent down.

 

Sarkhan the Mad

Sarkhan the Mad

Shadow of Glory Past

V2.0 of Sarkhan Vol. The fallen Sarkhan who is now working under Bolas was sent unknowingly to Zendikar as part of its plan to free the Eldrazi. Due to his interference, along with Jace and Chandra, the Eldrazi was free from their prison and now roams Zendikar, leading the locals to deal with them and the Planeswalkers present to seek out ways to prevent them from leaving Zendikar. Sarkhan V2.0 has the highest loyalty among Planeswalkers but was also notable for his lack of loyalty adding abilities. The first ability although cost at zero has a high percentage of risk of getting himself killed in the process due to EDH decks usually having high cc spells. Consideration has to put into deck building if one planned to use Sarkhan V2.0 first ability for long. Alternately library manipulation could also be used here; or simply use Proliferate to add back the lost loyalty counters onto him. The second ability is quite good for offensive as it allows you to exchange small Creature into huge Dragons. Lastly, the ultimate is a good kill con if used in a Dragon Tribal deck, and it could be used the same turn Sarkhan V2.0 hits the battlefield. With most Dragons having high power, the ultimate could easily takes out one opponent when activated.

 

Sorin Markov

Sorin Markov

“You have to trust me. I am here to help.”

The first version of Sorin the Vampire Planeswalker whose past was shrouded in mystery when he first appears on Zendikar was in fact one of the Planeswalkers who imprisoned the Eldrazi on Zendikar. His first ability of dealing 2 damage to Creature and gaining you 2 life in the process is nothing compare to his second ability which outright speeds the game for your opponents. As everyone starts off the game with 40 life, Sorin alone would set that to just 10. His Mindslaver ultimate is even more annoying as it could seize a victory chance from an opponent when activated. Definitely a must have for all Black EDH decks.

 

Nissa Revane

Nissa Revane

All about Elves.

Nissa was trying to save her home world but betrays Sorin, after she thought he was betraying her. This caused Sorin to abandon her and leave her to deal with the Eldrazi in the end. Looking at all her abilities, she is really a Tribal Elf Planeswalker. Unless you are playing Tribal Elf, she is really a dead card to include into your deck.

 

Scars Block

New Phyrexia

Lost World

Scars block is about the struggles of the people of Mirrodin as a Phyrexian Invasion starts to take over their world. Planeswalkers who were here were mostly Karn’s friends who were trying to rescue him or natives trying to save Mirrodin.

 

Elspeth Tirel

Elspeth Tirel

Fighting her own past.

The second version of Elspeth who had lost her faith during the events on Alara, when the shards of Alara merged back to one and Bant was no longer the pure world she sought after. Thereafter she was interested by Koth when he pleas for help to save his world from the Phyrexians. She renews her cause as to not let any other worlds be like her home world, she followed Koth on his cause to save his world. Like her first version, she also pumps out Soldier tokens but minus her loyalty this time, but for three tokens at once it is worth the minus. You could gain life then with the first ability after getting more Creatures on your side. The ultimate is just wicked as you will have the army of tokens to beat down while you destroy all nonland and nontoken permanents. Good addition to all EDH decks with White, and especially good for Token style.

 

Koth of the Hammer

A new player of the Planeswalkers native to Mirrodin, Koth had set out from Mirrodin to the Multiverse to find ways or others like him to help him in his quest to save his world. Koth works very well in pure Red EDH decks, especially those which use a lot of Mountains. The first ability could be used as either ramp or beatdown; versatility, which is very important in EDH. The second ability is a very Big Mana kind of ability, allowing you to ramp into bigger spells. The ultimate is arguably the most imba when you go all Red with your deck. When activated, every Mountain you have now is a point of damage; you could practically shoots down anyone if you had been accelerating for this. A good add to all decks which could use him.

 

Venser, the Sojourner

Venser, the Sojourner

“Need a lift?”

One of the first of the new breed of Planeswalkers who was introduced in the storyline of Time Spiral, Venser had since then further developed his skills as a Planeswalker. Though forced by Koth to go Mirrodin, Venser soon gave in to help save Mirrodin when he discovered that his old friend Karn was imprisoned there. Venser gave his life to save Karn at the end of the block. Venser’s specialization of teleportation is shown in his first ability which has a very good tie in with the Blink style. If your deck consists of many cards with enter the battlefield effects then Venser is a very powerful ally to your deck. He also acts as a good way to reset counters on permanents you own, eg. like another Planeswalker which had lost too many loyalty; or your Voltron Commander who had been hit with a Vow. Since the ability blinks out permanents you own instead of control, you could blink out permanents which your opponent had stolen from you and get them back when they return. The second ability is brutal regardless of a horde tactic, a Voltron style, or Poison style, as either one just pushes all the damage through. The ultimate is one of those win more situation. Once activated, you will be the controller of the board at best, or the public enemy which everyone must get rid of. You practically control everyone just simply by casting spells, and those spells may itself be threats too. Venser may be good just for Control and Blink style but you can also play it just for his ultimate. Because when activated, each of your spell is also a removal regardless of whether it was countered or not.

 

Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

Unwilling Agent

Second version of Tezzeret sent by Nicol Bolas to monitor and watch the Phyrexians developments. Like his first version, Tezzeret V2.0 is also heavy Artifact theme. His first ability will be useless and easily missed if your deck do not has a lot of Artifacts. The second ability will be short of targets if you do not play Artifacts in your deck also. The ultimate is totally useless too if you do not have any Artifacts as well. All in all, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas is very dependent on your decks having a lot of Artifacts; it would be beneficial to have him if your deck has a lot of Artifacts; otherwise there is no reason to add him to the deck.

 

Karn Liberated

Karn Liberated

Restart with a new faith.

The Father of the Machines of the new Phyrexians and the creator of Mirrodin, Karn found himself a prisoner of his own corruption due to his power source being from Phyrexia origins. Thanks to the sacrifice of Venser, Karn was able to regain his sanity and while mourning for his friend, he had sought for ways to reclaim Mirrodin. Very much like Nicol Bolas, Karn powers are very imba. From his first ability of exiling card from player’s hand; to the second of exiling permanents, he controls the board when he hits the battlefield. His ultimate further pushes his imba-ness to the next level by restarting the game and giving you a head start with the cards you exiled with him. Given such powers, Karn will no doubt be the number one target when he hits the battlefield. If possible, all EDH deck should have him. I would if I have extra copies of him. Muahahahah…

 

Innistrad Block

"I have come to claim what is mine."

“I have come to claim what was mine.”

Innistrad block tells of the origins of Sorin Markov, the home plane of where he was from. Here we also have Liliana who had came here to find and kill one of the Demon, Griselbrand, who owned her soul; following her too was Garruk who was cursed by her. Much of the story revolved around the humans of this world as the Planeswalkers worked in the background to reach their own goal.

 

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

Home Sweet Home.

V2.0 of Sorin with a bit of White repentance in him this time round, seeking repentance for his family for releasing vampirism on Innistrad. Ability wise, Sorin is more Creature orientated with his first and second ability. The first one churns out Vampire tokens with lifelink and the second gives you an Emblem to pump your Creatures (+1/+0). It is to be noted that Emblems are cumulative. So using these two abilities, you can kill with a horde tactic. The ultimate is umber powerful in EDH as you could destroy everyone else Commanders and in the process grab them over to beat their owners with. And you can also abuse this ability to reset loyalty on your Planeswalkers too. Definitely a good add to decks which can play him.

 

Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

~Fly me to the Moon~

Another imba Planeswalker from Kamigawa, who stayed on Innistrad to study the moon of this world, Tamiyo is good in the sense that her first ability locks down permanent threats and keep them locked down for a turn. Combined with Prison cards, you can lock down the board in no time. And while you do that, you could draw cards with the second ability if your opponents so play Creatures. The ultimate spells card advantage all over it. Once activated, you will never lose anything except to exile. You can board sweep all day; but your stuffs will all return to your hand along with the board sweep. For all those mentioned above, Tamiyo spells Prison style all over her. If not playing for Prison style, you could simply just play Tamiyo just for her ultimate for the superb card advantage. Resource renewal is a BIG plus in EDH since each spell is only one in each deck.

 

Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded

Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded

“Pain is the most effective way to prove one is alive.”

A very strange Planeswalker in that his abilities are all very situational. His first ability is considered situational as there is a chance that the card you drew into may be discarded away. Yes there is the argument that discarding would help in Graveyard theme but there are much better ways to do it other than discarding it randomly. His second “Sudden Impact” ability needs a lot of loyalty to activate, considering that his starting loyalty is only 2 and his loyalty adding ability is only +1. It is not really worth it for the ability as in EDH, 7 damage is really not a lot since everyone is at 40 to begin with. His Insurrection like ultimate is also very situational. Unless your opponents simply do not read his ability or do not even bother about it, everyone is going to be well prepared before it even activates. Not to mention that board sweep is too common in EDH for this ability to really work. As much as I hate to go against the title of this Article, Tibalt is not really suited for EDH play due to the restrictions present in his abilities. Notable though is that Tibalt is the first and probably lowest cc Planeswalker at 2cc, till another Planeswalker with the same or 1cc comes out….

 

Return to Ravnica Block

Return to Ravnica

Home of the Great

As a return visit to Ravnica, now the home base which Jace claimed, the ten guilds had reformed. Trouble is brewing here yet again, with the Izzet guild looking to gain full domination of Ravnica and the other guilds planning on their own agendas to stop the Niv.

 

Domri Rade

Domri Rade

When in doubt, Just strike

Domri is a very straight up beatdown Planeswalker fitting into the Gruul characteristics, since he was after all a recent ascended Planeswalker from Gruul. The first ability gets you an extra card if it is a Creature, giving you a beatdown or defense Creature. That second ability may seem harmless at first glance but if you look closely at the colors in Domri you will realize that there are quite a number of Creatures with Deathtouch to use. Since damage is dealt simultaneously and dealt by the Creatures themselves during Fight, abilities like Deathtouch, Lifelink, and Infect all work as normal. This could be used to break a standstill within the group; breaking down an opponent’s defenses; or taking out an irritating Creature whose presence on the battlefield is irritating even without it attacking. The ultimate is most EDH beatdown players’ dream abilities combination; making Domri a must add if your deck is violent beatdown. Even if it’s not, having Double Strike; Haste; Hexproof; Trample on your Commander is also not something that your opponents can simply laugh about .

 

Gideon, Champion of Justice

Gideon, Champion of Justice

Mr Right is Back

Gideon V2.0 is a weird powerhouse by itself. As Creatures are always played in EDH multiplayer, it became fairly easy and fast to add up loyalty counters on him. Further gaining advantage from the first ability, and also a variant from his v1.0 ultimate trend, is Gideon’s changing into a Creature to fight your battles. This time though besides being undamageble, he is also Indestructible, making him even more powerful than before. Further powering up is his power and toughness which instead of 6/6 is now depending on the number of loyalty counters on him. His ultimate leaves in the question though of whether it is worth it to blow up the world. Board sweeping effects are game changing but Gideon V2.0 ultimate might be way too powerful in EDH, making him the no.1 target as he hits the battlefield. Furthermore if you are playing multiplayer, Gideon V2.0 might get a great boost in loyalty counters only to get bashed up before your turn comes by again. Regardless of the disadvantages, it is still fun to have him around on your side as when you have an ultimate active Gideon V2.0 by your side, it will be like you are the ultimate controller whenever your turn comes by as you get to choose to activate his ultimate or not. Fun Planeswalker to have around but not a necessary add to the deck in my opinion.

 

Vraska the Unseen

Vraska the Unseen

“Look into my eyes…”

The first Gorgon Planeswlaker, Vraska really lives up to her Gorgon origin with all her abilities. She has a very nifty +1 ability and high loyalty to protect herself from being kill by your opponents’ Creatures. When she enters the battlefield, you could add +1 and she will be 6 loyalty to withstand for one turn. Usually in EDH, most players weigh their attackers heavily. So to attack Vraska would usually mean either she will die that attack or the next player is going to finish the job. Either way she draws attention away from you for as long as she stays on the battlefield. The second ability is another killer since she deals with all nonLand permanent threats. The ultimate took me a while to digest it. Effectively it is allowing you to kill THREE opponents all at once if they do not have any ways to stop the Assassins she produced. Nothing says you win in a 4-way multiplayer EDH better than that. She has a bit of a control-ish feel in her and is a good add if your deck can play her.

 

Onward with More

Wizards had since moved on from the first five Planeswalkers to more advance and complicated ones, occasionally revisiting the first five. Each of them is a bomb in their own right and would prove to be helpful when you play them. As always, there are two sides to a coin, there are still some which are not suitable for play in EDH. It may work out with other cards to support it, but not worth the effort to customize 98+1 cards to suit one. So for those power hungry out there, if your pocket allows, there is no reason to stop you to consider including one or two Planeswalkers into your deck. Well maybe proxy if you want to just test it out first before purchasing the actual one. Thus, till next article, may the chosen ones power be with you and not against you.

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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